Interactive Advertising Bureau
17 September 2018

Guest blog: Quality and Viewability – an Advertiser Perspective Is this Blind Man’s Bluff?

By Pinar Erdal, Customer Lifecycle Executive, Turk Telekom

The media landscape is shifting to a digital first environment. Worldwide media ad spend reached $232bn in 2017 (according to Furthermore, this number is estimated to hit $427bn by 2022. As building a strategy on digital becomes the norm, not having a digital marketing strategy will force your brand by the wayside.

However the shift isn’t without its challenges. For advertisers, assessing ad quality requires substantial understanding of the data provided and it is important to ensure we receive effective and clear data.  Ultimately, we need to know whether our ads are placed in a brand safe environment and are viewable by a human. Therefore, for advertisers, interpreting measurement results and calculating ROI of their actions while eliminating misleading information can be a huge challenge.

It is also important to note that there are several factors that can be addressed from our side in terms of ad quality. Being a consumer, we all know that a successful ad should draw attention while delivering a message in a relevant place for a sufficient amount of time. Consequently, in 2015 the MRC stated a new definition for the viewiability of the ad: “50% of their pixels are in view for a minimum of one second and for desktop video that standard is 50% for 2 seconds.

Several publishers began to adapt their strategies to ensure maximum ad viewability on their sites. However, the conflict between publishers and advertisers is clear – publishers aim to enhance the performance of their inventory whilst advertisers strive to  understand the actual value of an impression. Meanwhile, the measurement of ads for viewability has been in development with notable disparities amongst methodologies and reporting which causes further confusion amongst both publishers and advertisers.

However, enhancing ad quality takes far more than furnishing alignment among parties. Ad fraud causes gigantic exaggeration in traffic and click figures. According to Juniper research, advertisers will lose an estimated $19bn to fraudulent activities next year, equivalent to $51m per day. Further, campaign statistics originated from ad fraud have a huge impact on the decision-making of companies. Key learnings retrieved from such data can become misinterpreted as campaign performance, responsive/non-responsive customer profile and target group behavior.

In addition to ad fraud, it is important to state another factor that impacts ad quality. A successfully displayed ad might be detrimental to the brand if it appears next to undesirable content. Ads bought based on demographic data as opposed to specific site or URLs could be at higher risk. Another thing to note is that websites containing various irrelevant ads might irritate or confuse customers. It is evident that brand safety can cause a massive amount of damage to brand perception, which takes a great deal of cost, time and effort to build.

So, who shares the responsibility of improving ad quality? For the purpose of developing a sustainable industry, it should be any stakeholder in the advertising supply and delivery chain. On the demand side, it is important for advertisers to observe performance from various points of view and ensure they are up to date with the latest viewability, ad fraud and content verification technologies. On the other hand, publishers should also ensure their website traffic and inventory is analysed accurately. Ultimately, both parties should agree on the same ad quality standards.

In this equation, advertisers shoulder a great monetary pressure while being challenged with environmental threats. Reinforcing customer engagement with suitable content-placements is essential to maximise ROI of ad spend and ensure the market continues to grow.

This partnership requires a strong collaboration. And one word that is important to any relationship is trust.

Contact the author:


Our Latest Posts

IAB Europe
Rond-Point Robert
Schuman 11
1040 Brussels
Sign up for our newsletter
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram